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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was aboriginal.

Last in Parliament November 2010, as Conservative MP for Calgary Centre-North (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 57% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Public Safety February 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it appears that democratic elections can be held in Iraq but not in Kanesatake. The climate of violence in this part of Quebec is such that the protection of citizens cannot be guaranteed. The Liberals meddle in sectors under provincial jurisdiction, but abdicate their responsibilities when courage is needed.

When will the minister take charge and guarantee citizens a minimum level of safety?

John Robert McCaig February 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on this the 40th anniversary of the Canadian flag, it is fitting that the House pay tribute to a distinguished Canadian.

John Robert “Bud” McCaig passed away on January 11. He will be sorely missed by his family, by fellow Calgarians and by his countrymen.

Bud McCaig was a member of the Order of Canada and was one of Calgary's most respected business leaders, philanthropists and citizens.

Over the course of his life, Bud McCaig built Trimac Corporation from a small regional trucking company into one of North America's largest transportation conglomerates.

Bud was a great family man and a great friend to many causes. He was a member of the board of governors at the University of Calgary. He was chairman emeritus at the Calgary Health Trust. He founded the Alberta Bone and Joint Institute with an extraordinarily generous donation. There are many other causes too numerous to mention.

Most important, Bud McCaig brought kindness, humility and compassion to everything and everyone he touched. Today we pay tribute to the flag and to one of our finest citizens who served it so well.

Aboriginal Affairs February 11th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about business as usual.

It turns out that the Deputy Prime Minister is now tendering $5 million worth of contracts for the services of private investigators. As it turns out, the investigators will be investigating the abusers, not the abused. More puzzling is the question of how the $5 million investigators will be interviewing the abusers when most of them are dead and gone.

Could anyone in the government explain this perverse waste of money?

Aboriginal Affairs February 11th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister continues to mismanage the residential school file. In fact, the program is another Liberal disaster. More than $125 million have been invested and barely 50 cases have been resolved through her dispute resolution system. The AFN says that the system is biased and abusive. Her officials admit that it is deeply flawed. Aboriginal people say that it is re-victimizing the victims.

Why does the Deputy Prime Minister continue to violate the dignity of aboriginal Canadians with this insulting waste of time and money?

Patent Act February 9th, 2005

Madam Speaker, just to follow up with a supplementary question for my friend, I note that the number of cases which have been brought before the government under the ADR process is very small compared to the total number of cases.

Of the figures which my friend has put before the House today, less than 2% of the pool of cases which the government is facing have been brought forward in this ADR process. That raises the question: why has the government invested $150 million in that process? If the objective was to expend $1.7 billion within seven years and settle the majority of the cases which could be settled quickly, it is very clear at this point, two years into the program, that this is a complete failure and that it is not working.

Moreover, it is not working for the victims. Newspapers in this country are replete with stories of residential school victims who feel they are being re-victimized by the process. There are indications that some of the victims are facing claims where their monetary award is $1,000 and yet $80,000 to $100,000 has been spent on proving the case in the manner my friend describes. That is not acceptable. What does the government intend to do about it?

Patent Act February 9th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask questions in the House with respect to the government's management of the residential school claims dispute. This matter has been discussed previously in the House.

Before Christmas the Deputy Prime Minister indicated to the House that this program was an enormous success, particularly the ADR component of the program, and that the costs which had been incurred up to that point were simply costs that related to the ramping up process so that the government could carry on with the settlement of ADR claims.

In fact, nothing of the sort has happened. At this point the government has expended approximately $125 million on this process and has resolved something in the neighbourhood of 50 ADR cases. In effect, if one analyzes the numbers it is very clear that four-fifths of every $1 that has been spent on this program has been spent on bureaucracy, experts, lawyers and the like, with only 20¢ on the $1 ever finding its way through to the victims.

The AFN studied this and put a recommendation before the government but it judged the ADR program, the process, to be a complete failure. It says that it is motivated by the tort claim considerations of the government but, most important, it says that at the current rate it will take 53 years and cost $2.3 billion in bureaucratic, legal and expert costs alone to resolve these claims. That does not even take into consideration the cost of the settlements themselves.

At this point in time the number of claims that have been submitted to the government under its program are quite meagre compared to the total pool of available claimants. I have been told that something in the neighbourhood of 1,227 cases have been submitted to the government in this dispute resolution process. In fact, there is a known pool of 85,975 live-in residential school survivors who have available claims against the government.

In addition, the entire mismanagement of the program is complicated by the class action lawsuits that have been commenced, one by the name of Cloud, which has now been certified in the Ontario Divisional Court, and a second one by the name of Baxter, which is on the verge of certification. All of this spells enormous liability consequences for the government.

Could the minister tell this House how the government intends to deal with this? It is very clear that the ADR program is not working and that it is a dismal failure with $125 million to $135 million having been spent at this point with 50 cases resolved. That is beyond pathetic.

What is the government intending to do about this? There has been a redress scheme in Ireland called the residential institutions redress act of 2002. I am not necessarily saying that I would agree with everything in that legislative scheme, but it is certainly understandable. Could the minister tell the House why we have not followed an approach like that? Why is there so much mystery, confusion and bureaucracy surrounding the process that is being followed by the government?

Aboriginal Affairs February 9th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister could tell the House what that course of action is because last night Canadians saw the face of Innu despair and hopelessness.

The government is failing aboriginal people in this country. Canadians have lost faith in the Liberal government to investigate mismanagement. After a shameful decade of all talk and no action, the government has nothing to show for it.

Will the minister commit to ask the Auditor General to review all of his department's expenditures?

Aboriginal Affairs February 9th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on the heels of Liberal mismanagement of the residential school claims, a disturbing CBC report now outlines another Liberal embarrassment. It is more money, more misery and more victims.

In Davis Inlet the Liberals spent $350 million, $400,000 per person, yet the results are clear. There are more pregnancies, more family violence and fewer children finishing high school. The basic programs have not been met.

What is the minister going to do about this?

Aboriginal Affairs February 4th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister continues to mismanage the residential school file. In November she told the House that her ADR program was a great success. In fact, we now know that only 25 ADR claims have been settled, out of a total of 88,000 cases, at a staggering cost of $100 million.

Her officials have publicly admitted that the system is deeply flawed. The AFN says that it is biased. The administration cost will be $2 billion, and it is abusive.

Why did the Deputy Prime Minister mislead the House? When will she stop re-victimizing aboriginal people and violating their human rights?

Income Tax Act February 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the essence of the matter, in short, is that the government has created a regulatory spiderweb in the north which imperils development and which imperils this important project. Frankly, the real question is whether this generation of aboriginal Canadians will have economic opportunity that is in keeping with their potential and whether they will have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of their resources.

That question hinges entirely upon what the government does in respect of this regulatory spiderweb that it has created. Its own smart regulation report has indicated that this situation imperils the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline and in fact can damage the Alaska pipeline as well for the same reasons.

That report was put forward for very specific recommendations. I do not hear from my friend today that the government has done anything other than review those recommendations. What concrete action is the government taking?